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Wanna Cry? How simple hacking in today's time truly is
18. May 2017 at 01:51
Hospitals out of service! Companies losing millions! Memories of people destroyed! - The world was under attack in the middle of May 2017. "WannaCry"? That's not a question, but the name of the "virus" that infected millions of computers in over 150 countries.
Especially computer lacking recent Microsoft updates were affected and caused a total encryption of your files! The only way to recover your files is by paying a ransom ranging from 300 to 600 USD [2]!

You might think that this was a single strike caused by experts, but let me show you how simple hacking can be in today's time!

Imagine yourself sitting in a Starbucks or any other location offering free wifi! You enjoy your coffee and type on your laptop the next big article for Voices of Youth. Everything seems perfect, but then you see your worst enemy entering the coffee house: He has not just taken your girlfriend, but also posted embarrassing pictures of you on Instagram. You see him ordering coffee and taking a seat on the other corner of the room. He takes his laptop out and starts working. This is your chance to hack into his computer, to steal his data, to delete his work! You think that's something for movie hackers... well let me show you how simple it is.

(1) Every hacker needs a terminal, so you start the Windows command line or the Linux terminal! The first thing you do is to find out your IP address by typing "ipconfig" (Windows) or "ifconfig" (Linux) [3]. This will give a number that looks something like this:

(2) The IP address is the most valuable information for hackers! It's your life! Make sure nobody gets to it! But to find the IP address of your "friends" PC all you need to do is to check for other devices with a similar IP. It is enough to change the last digit and to try to ping existing devices. You will enter "fping -a -g" [4]. This will yield you a variety of active IP addresses.

(3) Mhh so which one to take? Well simply use "nmap" [5] to get more information about the existing IPs. Try to find the one that matches e.g. device name to the person you are looking for. Did you found him? Great!

(4) Now run an attack! What? You mean this is the part where non-experts miss out? Wrong. Let the free online software Armitage [6] do your job. It is a well-known tool among ethical hackers, professionally called "penetration testers", to check for missing updates or other security issues and automatically run attacks (exploits) to gain control over a given PC. It is based on the also well-known hacker tool Metasploit [7]!

Well, with a high probably you will gain access to the pc of your enemy. Fast. Easy. Efficient. And if you can do it, many more people can do it too! What I am telling you is neither illegal nor hidden information, it is the opposite: Programmes like Armitage are widely used by ethical hackers and help to make technical infrastructure secure and unhackable! All the information can be found in some very basic hacking guides, such as "The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing" by Dr. Patrick Engebretson [8].

For more information about ethical hacking and more, you can visit my website ( [9] or check out some of the recommended books. Enjoy, and remember to stay always on the force!


[1] Cyberattack hits 200,000 in at least 150 countries - Europol, CNBC
[2] What you need to know about the WannaCry Ransomware, Symantec
[3] How to Find the IP Address of Your PC, WikiHow
[4] Fping:
[5] Nmap:
[6] Armitage Official Website
[8] Dr. Patrick Engebretson, Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing
[9] Fabian Schneider Website,"
Cite This Article As: Fabian Schneider. "Wanna Cry? How simple hacking in today's time truly is." International Youth Journal, 18. May 2017.

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